Vulcan’s Peak

Part the Second

May 17, 2005 3:24 pm

A Journey Begins with a Single Butterfly


She had been pacing in the castle garden for a full hour, watching the butterflies wander past. There is no such thing as a hurried butterfly, but nevertheless, these creatures were imbued with a sense of purpose. Two feet southwest, around a stand of willow trees, ten feet southeast, but always south, always south. She shivered, percieving in some small degree the setting of the sun, bringing one day closer the chill of deep autumn and the inescapable advent of dark winter.

When she had been pacing for over an hour, Merlin found her. His brown robes caught the autumn wind, giving him the appearance of an overgrown butterfly, wandering south towards her with a piece of parchment in his hand. She watched him approach, still pacing. She was going nowhere, but a restless urge in her chest drove her feet to keep moving.

“You’re going to wear holes in your shoes first and those stones shortly after. Or possibly the other way around.”

She stopped and smiled at him. “You didn’t come out here to tell me that.”

“No. A messenger has come from the Pendragon.”

“What could Uther want?”

“He remembers well the incident of Vortigan and the dragons. More to the point, he remembers my role in it and thinks to have me on his side.”

“You’ve been watching him, haven’t you?”

“Crystal balls were made for this, were they not? And it is only wise to keep the powerful where you can see them.”

“Apparently Uther feels the same way.”

“Indeed. You’ve watched the butterflies long enough, my lady. Come. We too are going south.”


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